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Kmart employee gets probation for theft

March 29, 2001|By STACEY DANZUSO, Chambersburg

Kmart employee gets probation for theft



CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. - A 79-year-old Waynesboro, Pa., woman who stole more than $10,000 from Kmart cash registers was sentenced to seven years probation Wednesday.

Helen E. Harne, of 505 W. Sixth St., did not address the court before her sentencing in the Franklin County Court of Common Pleas.

"This is terribly embarrassing to her. She wants to put it behind her," said defense attorney Patrick Redding.

Harne worked at the customer-service counter of the Waynesboro Kmart at 706 E. Main St. for two years. During that time, she devised a scheme in which she took items from the shelves, recorded them as returns, and pocketed the "refund" money herself, according to the affidavit of probable cause.

After an investigation, store security confronted Harne in February 2000, and she admitted to the thefts, records show.

Kmart filed charges in May, alleging Harne took as much as $67,274 from the store. Upon further investigation, the store reduced the total, Redding said, and Harne was ordered to make $10,000 in restitution to Kmart.

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As part of the agreement, Harne paid half of the sum Wednesday.

"This lengthy probation period will allow you to comply with the restitution agreement," said Judge Carol Van Horn after sentencing Harne to seven years probation and a $250 fine.

The standard punishment for the crime ranges from probation to nine months in jail.

Van Horn said she went with probation because Harne had no prior record.

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